It’s sometime in the early nineties and once again I am pawing my way through the old hope chest my grandpa made for my mom before she got married. It is rickety and broken, made out of some scrap lumber, perhaps not of the highest quality. But grandpa made it with love, and it serves its purpose even though the wobbly hinges threaten to drop the heavy lid on my head.
I am tumbling the neat stacks of scrap fabric my mom keeps in there, which she has patiently refolded for the umpteenth time after one of my forages. I have the urge to make something again.
I come across the quilt I attempted last year. It is so warped and buckled that it will never adorn anyone’s bed. Mom’s advice to keep my seams straight is something to think about next time. Perhaps a smaller project. A little dress? But for whom? My four little sisters aren’t so little anymore. And who am I kidding, no one would actually wear one of my lopsided creations, least of all myself. But I bet a doll would. My mom had been making adorable stuffed rabbits for daughters, nieces and nephews, and I would increase the wardrobe of my sister’s favorite bunny threefold! The tattered pattern came out, as well as a pile of odd shaped pieces of calico. So what if the pattern doesn’t quite fit on the remnants? Just cut a corner here or there. And all these zippers and buttons? Who has the time? I’m sure it will fit without them.
A few days later, I presented my sister with the gift. She was a little confused as to the occasion, little knowing she was a victim of my sporadic urge to create. She was very sweet with her thanks, and immediately went to work adorning her bunny. And it was work. She had to wrestle that poor thing into those clothes, squeezing the chubby stuffed arms into impossibly small sleeves and so on. But I was content. That strange need to make something with my hands was satisfied for the time being.
Twenty years later, that urge to create continues, and I am always searching for a purpose for my goods. I still love little dresses, but giving birth to four boys forces me to look elsewhere for recipients. This little dress is for a much anticipated baby, a baby whose parents thought they would never be able to conceive.
She is one of those gracious surprises from the Lord, given to parents who had given up all hope. It is exciting for me to anticipate her arrival by a little creativity. God, the creator of all life, has generously shared this creative urge with his people. I thank Him for it, and every day, try to sew a straighter seam.